Nat Torkington lives in New Zealand and has spent the last couple of years volunteering as a sysadmin, computer club organizer, and teacher at his local primary school. He shares his experiences of teaching programming to 8-12 year olds in his blog (and also on O’Reilly Radar) as well as in this inspirational talk from OSCON 2008. His conclusion, a call to arms for geeks everywhere to help their local schools, is inspirational. But I was struck in particular by his observation that girls in this age group are better than boys in most skills required to be successful programmers: what happens between primary school and University that so drastically reduces their interest in ICT and, by extension, the other sciences?
A video of Nat’s keynote, hosted at blip.tv is syndicated here: